State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

PA poll reinforces theory of Democrats' 2018 wave

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Apr 23, 2018 4:49 AM
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US Senator Bob Casey and Governor Tom Wolf, both Democratic incumbents, are leading all their GOP challengers in recent polls. (Photo by AP)

 

(Harrisburg) -- A new poll from Muhlenberg College is giving Democrats reason to feel hopeful about their midterm chances in November.

The survey, conducted over eight days early this month, sums up its findings as showing Democratic candidates "in strong positions across an array of races within Pennsylvania."

That's in line with a similar voter survey conducted recently by Franklin and Marshall College.

Chiefly, Democratic Governor Tom Wolf and US Senator Bob Casey each lead their GOP challengers by a substantial margin.

In a generic ballot, 47 percent of Pennsylvania voters prefer a Democrat in their district, while 38 percent prefer a Republican.

Pollster Chris Borick likened the situation to 2010, when Republicans saw major gains following a contentious presidential election.

But he noted, that level of success isn't assured.

"I think the odds are that they're going to pick up seats," he said. "It's going to be a good year--I think the big question is, will it be a great year for Democrats?"

The survey also took voters' temperature on national issues. 55 percent disapprove of President Donald Trump's job performance.

"The president's party generally suffers in the first midterm, even if they're fairly popular," Borick noted. "When they're not very popular--and right now, six months out, President Trump is not very popular in the state--it becomes an even greater drag."

Borick also asked voters whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller should finish his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Seven out of ten answered yes.

He said if that holds on a national level, it may influence the president to avoid dismissing Mueller.

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